First "real" tent advice


Original Post
Kevin Beadle · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0

Hey friends, I'm climbing the Grand Tetons as my first real mountaineering trip with my lady for my honeymoon late September Early October. I was wondering of you guys had any 2 person tent recommendations under the$ 400 price range. Also has anyone had experience with Alps mountaineering brand? I've seen some ideal looking tents well in the price range on Backcountry.

Scott McMahon · · Boulder, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 1,425

In that price range I've always like Marmot.  Eureka has really good tents as well.  I know they don't have the "street" cred for hardcore alpinists, but they've been around for I believe about 100 years. 

I'd recommend getting a marmot, Big Agnes or sierra designs from here.  Coupons are way more limited for this site, but make sure you aren't paying for shipping with a quick google search. 

https://www.sierratradingpost.com/s~tents/

Mike Womack · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 1,297

do an REI tent.  In my opinion, they are excellent quality for a very good price.  I've had a half dome for ~15 years and it's great! also have the quarter dome 2 plus for 10 years and it's really good too.

doug rouse · · Denver, CO. · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 660

REI Base Camp 4

Scoop · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 45

Are your sure you need a four season tent?  THE REI Quarter Dome is light, stable and super popular for a number of reasons.  

ddriver · · SLC · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 410

Kevin, if you're looking for a lightweight tent to carry high I can recommend the MSR Hubba Hubba.  I got one for the JMT last year and was very pleased, used it last week at the moraine camp in Garnet.  It weighs just over 3 pounds and you can run a ground cloth and fly only configuration to save weight if you want.  The big thing for me with a tent that light is that it has two side doors, each with a vestibule, so for the space/weight combo you still get full individual functionality without feeling like you're running over each other, plus you have space to manage and protect your gear, put your shoes on to pee, etc.  I like the layout enough that I'm considering getting the 3-person version as well for a lighter base camp tent option.  I looked at the REI tents as Mike mentioned and they seem to offer good value as well.  

Joe Crawford · · June Lake, California · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 0

Black Diamond Firstlight

mark felber · · Wheat Ridge, CO · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 28

I've got the one person version version of the MSR Hubba Hubba, the Hubba NX. So far I've been really happy with it. The REI Half Dome series is a very close second, IMO. The MSR is a little more symmetrical design, so you can sleep facing either way without compromising on head room. Footprints are worth spending a little extra for. The floor of your tent will last longer, and the "fly & footprint" option is nice when the weather is good and you want to go as light as you can. 

Albert Kernberg · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

I remember Alps Mountaineering first hitting the market many moons/suns ago. I wasn't too impressed with the quality and materials. It's super possible things have changed! Marmont, Sierra Designs (my pick) and Big Anges options provide a nice blend of weight and size (super important w/ your partner, at least for me). I think REI tents are pretty heavy and bloated with sales floor features. Used a Eureka, 1 person single wall, for 3 guiding seasons, but wouldn't buy one today. Do research on materials and focus on weight to size ratio.

Kyle Tarry · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 162
Joe Crawford wrote:

Black Diamond Firstlight

In my opinion, very poor advice for the OP's suggested objective.

OP, you don't need a 4 season tent, or an alpine tent.  You just need a simple, standard, 2-person backpacking tent.  Options abound here...

http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/camping-and-hiking/best-backpacking-tent

The REI Half Dome is a classic for a reason.  I have a Kelty Salida and it's been great (and cheap).

Tapawingo Markey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 75

I'd steer away from a single wall design unless you're using it in winter. 

The more money you spend you're generally getting lighter weight equipment in the tent category. I'd say the two biggest things are get a tent with taped seams (or seal them yourself) and get something with  two vestibules.

In terms of brands, I've used Big Agnes, Nemo, and REI with success. I'm sure MSR puts out a good product too. Weight wise-anything over 4lbs packed is overkill and obsolete in my opinion unless you're going to be in some harsh environments where an overbuilt tent is necessary. 

Luke Lindeman · · Lancaster, PA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0

MSR Hubba Hubba NX. You'll thank yourself.

Jeremy Justus · · Steamboat Springs, CO · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

I've got the alps mountaineering zephyr 3 person and i like it a lot. It's held up to some heavy rain with minimal condensation, but it's best when you can take the rain fly off and enjoy the total mesh tent body. A tight squeeze for 3 but not bad, and very nice with 2 (plus dog). A little heavy but split up between two it's not bad for the price. ~4 years later with 1 summer living out of it the only issue is the zipper occasionly splits but just pull it down and back up and it's good!

But if you plan on using it much in the future I'd spend a little more and get a lot lighter. Rocking a big Agnes for my 1 person and it's very light and nice, but I still want even lighter haha (although it's mostly so make space for more climbing gear haha).

Scott McMahon · · Boulder, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 1,425
alpinejason · · Minneapolis · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 175

I've been super happy with a Big Sky International Chinook tent. Met my requirements for 4 season capable, free standing, dual doors and vestibules, and light weight. It's higher than your budget but they have some other models in that price range. I love the exo skeleton design. 

Charlie Parker · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0
Kevin Beadle wrote:

Hey friends, I'm climbing the Grand Tetons as my first real mountaineering trip with my lady for my honeymoon late September Early October. I was wondering of you guys had any 2 person tent recommendations under the$ 400 price range. Also has anyone had experience with Alps mo7untaineering brand? I've seen some ideal looking tents well in the price range on Backcountry.

Honeymoon. First REAL mtn trip. Late Sept / early Oct. Wait. Honeymoon AND 1st mtn trip AND October? Don't own a tent?... So, 1st time camping? Is she a climber? Wait, is someone else on this honeymoon? Climbing the Grand? Or .... ? The tent. Interesting. On your honeymoon. She's either the perfect woman or,  no, there is something missing to this story which is far more interesting than the tent. 

As for the tent: A tent is an investment, a partnership in future adventures. Like a marriage. Have the bride pick the tent. That's my advice. Or, you know, ask for her opinion. 

Without further information about the possible future use of said tent, and your preferences, it's hard to pick the best for your needs in the Tetons and going forward. It's like asking people what car you should get for a road trip to Jackson.

James T · · Livermore · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 80

obviously a double-walled tent

it's a honeymoon... there's going to be condensation

Joe Crawford · · June Lake, California · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 0

first light is NOT a 4 season tent. It is a single-wall 3 season; I use it exclusively 20-25 nights a month in the Sierra from May-October and during high pressure in the winter. It is light and compact while still big enough for honeymoon activities. Why get a double wall tent at either twice the weight or price? 

Tapawingo Markey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 75
Joe Crawford wrote:

first light is NOT a 4 season tent. It is a single-wall 3 season; I use it exclusively 20-25 nights a month in the Sierra from May-October and during high pressure in the winter. It is light and compact while still big enough for honeymoon activities. Why get a double wall tent at either twice the weight or price? 

BD claims it's a 4 season tent...

Anyway, something like the Nemo Dagger or Copper Spur really isn't much more expensive for more floor space, lighter weight, double vestibule/dual entry, and more versatile - you can use them as just a tarp shelter cutting even more weight, or use just the mesh body if it's fair weather and you're just trying to keep the bugs out. All good reasons to go that route over a single wall/firstlight.

Austin Baird · · SLC, Utah · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 95

Get a 3 man tent. The extra weight is negligible and the extra space is totally worth it. Especially if this is a honeymoon and you plan to be engaging in honeymoon-type activities, you'll really appreciate the space and wonder why you ever thought about a 2 man.

Joe Crawford · · June Lake, California · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 0

NOT a 4-season, no matter what BD says on the website. It does fine in dry snow, but winter winds or a fall rain storm will have you hating life. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply